The TUF winner gets the easier matchup than the TUF runner up for this oddball Lightweight matchup this August 23, 2015 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The Match Up
Lightweight Chad Laprise -360 vs. Francisco Trinaldo +300
3 Things You Should Know
1. Laprise won The Ultimate Fighter Nations and he's been an underrated staple in the division ever since.
It's probably an unfair comparison but Chad Laprise reminds me of Robert Whittaker; a fighter whose show roots betray a blue chip value fostered by blue collar work. That isn't to say both men will become contenders. On the contrary. I think the ceiling for both men is a little limited. Whittaker less so. But they're such good technicians you kind of forget who these men are. Laprise won the show, and has yet to lose a professional fight. Barberena put up a much better fight than I anticipated, but Laprise was victorious in the end.
2. Trinaldo is like the movie Vacancy with Luke Wilson and Kate Beckingsale; breezy, and sometimes violent, but ultimately not very memorable.
At 7-3, you'd think Trinaldo would garner a little more respect from fans and observers like myself. He does, of course, but he's been the product of favorable matchmaking. He's rarely overmatched, but like a poor man's Gleison Tibau, he rarely makes an impression. I can't even remember his bout with Norman Parke (like most bouts involving Norman Parke), and that was three months ago. He was a big deal before getting into the TUF house though, all but destroying Charles Maicon's entire bloodline. That won't be enough against Laprise.
3. Laprise will take over on the feet, on the ground if he wants to.
Laprise is such a joy to watch on a technical level. Like a bouncier Ross Pearson, he keeps his feet on constant motion while chambering combinations that start with a swift jab he tracks with, and ending with either a thumping left hook, or piercing straight right. He's good defensively when it comes to grappling. I wouldn't call his ground game distinguished, but the technique is there to avoid disaster.
Trinaldo is the kind of interval fighter who looks different in pockets of action rather than the whole. At certain moments, he looks like a strong fighter with a powerful straight left from his southpaw stance, and probably some grappling chops, but a three round fight displays the exact opposite. Trinaldo is obviously a solid fighter, and good enough to be in the UFC. But he suffer from Blanco-itis.
Chad Laprise by Decision.